As a rule, I’m not a big fan of gyms. This dates waaaay back to highschool and being forced to do ‘free gym’ time whole getting exactly zero direction on how to use machines. And then in university when I caught some boys snickering at me and my attempts to work out. Body positive and gym didn’t go hand-in-hand for me.
I know, I know, but the gym should be about ME and how I FEEL now how others react! Who cares what they’re thinking! Listen, please don’t even utter those words in my direction.
Going to the gym as a fat girl is a whole other ball game my friends. It doesn’t help that we are labelled as the ‘before’ photo on Instagram, and weight loss is the assumed goal when we mention it.
What I’m getting at is that, in my experience, most gyms are fatphobic AF and that’s why, when I did a class with Sarah Taylor, it kind of changed my world.
My first fitness class…ever?
So when I saw the free class at Additionelle (one of my fave stores) with Girlfriend Collective (a brand I was DYING to try) and led by Sarah (who is the founder of Fitness by Sarah Taylor which is a hella inclusive body positive gym) I had to go. Even though the idea kinda terrified me.
I put on my best workout gear, from my fave sneakers to my Top Knot, and headed out early…fully prepared to physically die from the workout.
Sarah actually did a video of the class so you too can see me sweat my ass off!
You can’t really tell, but by the end of the class I was sold on Sarah as a trainer.
Besides being a sweaty mess, I felt strong. Accomplished. Badass. And pretty tired but that’s probably obvious.
Also walked out of that class with a new Girlfriend matching set because wow I love an inclusive brand AND they’re made from plastic AND they don’t move on me (!!!). Plus they’re super cute…and since that class I’ve gotten another pair of pants and another bra, whoops. If you’re itching to try Girlfriend Collective, you can save $10 on your first set and they truly have some cute colours for fall. This is a link that means I’ll get $10 too, but sharing is caring.
Anyway, by the time that week ended I had gone from trying a fitness class to JOINING her gym for a 6-week challenge. It was a last-minute decision, and I can safely say one of the best I’ve made all 2019.
A gym for women, with no talk of weight-loss, that’s all about community.
Every single class I attend (I aim for 3 a week) has me leaving with a smile on my face. And with 6-weeks coming to an end, I very much plan on joining full-time. It’s become routine for me, and is so good for me physically but also mentally. It is a complete body positive gym, with women of all shapes and sizes and ages, and you feel at home right away. There isn’t diet talk, there are no weigh-ins and there’s no shaming. It’s all about you, learning to love your body, and getting moving.
Okay after the morning class I could barely walk, but I’m getting better as I get stronger. And Sarah is SO good at pushing us but also showing modifications so that anyone can complete whatever move we’re doing. It’s a lot of circuits, which I’m new to, and I’ve been really enjoying them.
Sarah is truly a great hype girl, and slam balls have become a fave! EVEN when my form needs adjusting and I almost lose my balance.
I have been raving and raving to my friends and family about this body positive gym (located in downtown Toronto) and I’m so excited that Sarah has let me share a FREE WEEK for anyone who wants to try! I honestly think everyone should give her 6-week challenge a go but she won’t be doing another until 2020 and that’s way too far away.
I think anyone reads this knows me enough that I don’t normally stick to things, and the fact I made this challenge happen is a pretty huge sign that I’m a fan of everything Sarah does and what she stands for. I would love to see familiar faces there, and I love supporting female-founded businesses whenever I can.
And now I can try fitness lines!
Another perk of getting into a fitness routine? I finally had a legit reason to give the OGX Green Tea Fitness collection a try. Like as soon as I joined I emailed them because I was SO curious about the products (especially the dry shampoo foam) and I’ve yet to be let down by OGX.
This collection, thankfully, was no different.
Okay, the dry shampoo foam took a LITTLE getting used to (it comes out very fast and you do NOT need a lot!!) but my goodness it works! And doesn’t make your hair look greasy which still confuses me a bit honestly.
The air-dry cream is a go-to for me even when I’m not coming from a post-gym shower. It helps your hair dry with a little less frizz, and a little more wave.
The shampoo and condition are sulfate-free (as are all OGX products) and do help me kick my hair shine up a notch. The conditioner also doesn’t leave my hair heavy, key if you have thin hair like me, and the scent is amazing. That counts for the whole line, but the OGX scents can’t be beat in my books.
But, of course, sometimes I wear my Top Knot to class and then I don’t even have to stress about my hair after. That’s one of the many perks of wearing a hat to class, but my fave reasons to wear it are:
- I feel badass, I don’t know why.
- My hair (including the bangs I’m forever growing out) stay out of my way.
- my ponytail actually stays up and off my neck/doesn’t bug me when I’m on the mat.
- Built-in sweatband. Enough said.
And yes, you can win your own Top Knot.
We knew this was coming. I mean, I do work there and I’m a little biased, but a Top Knot will help you step up your cardio game…even if your cardio is shopping.